The federal government has approved a 40-year natural gas export licence to Woodfibre LNG Limited for its proposed facility in Squamish, B.C.
The National Energy Board (NEB), which regulates the import and export of natural gas, extended the export licence from 25 years to 40 years on April 6, 2017. The government reviewed and supported the NEB's recommendations.
Federal Minister of Natural Resources Jim Carr made the announcement while speaking at the Canadian Embassy in China June 5.
“We know there is tremendous demand for natural gas, especially in the fast-growing companies of Asia,” Carr said. “The approval of Woodfibre LNG’s 40-year export licence provides certainty for investors while creating jobs for Canadians as the world moves toward a low-carbon future.
“This project also underscores the significance of working together with First Nations communities, as it will lead to environmental protection and economic benefits for the province of British Columbia and the Squamish region.”
The project had received a 25-year licence to export 2.1 million tonnes of LNG annually in December 2013; the extension comes because of recent amendments to the NEB Act that allowed the maximum term to be changed to 40 years.
Pacific Oil and Gas—the company behind the project—made a final investment decision on Woodfibre LNG in November 2016, and the NEB approved the company’s application in April this year. The Squamish Nation Council had approved the project’s environmental assessment agreement in October 2015.
Woodfibre LNG is located seven kilometres from Squamish. The proposed LNG export facility is being constructed on the former Woodfibre Pulp Mill site and is planned to have a storage capacity of 250,000 metric tonnes.